Too Many Choices Lead to Mental Paralysis
I recently read a newspaper article called “Too Many Choices: A Problem that can Paralyze.“ The point of the article was that too many choices shut people down. As an example, an experiment done in a gourmet food store showed that people were less likely to buy from a selection of gourmet jam when there were too many flavors to choose from. Also, when people were given a large selection of choices, they tended to be less satisfied once they made their choice.
I've noticed a similar phenomenon coming from creative adults with ADD – ADHD; we often have so many ideas of what we could do that we do nothing. I think many times we'd move forward more easily if we had just two or three ideas to choose from instead of the bubbling cauldron of ideas that many of us have spewing from our brains.
Just Take Action – Do ANYTHING
I attended a seminar a few years ago on Internet Marketing, given by a top internet guru. It was a very intensive two days, crammed full of information of the very many possibilities available to make money online.
It was apparent that the speaker realized the potential for paralysis coming from the overwhelm of too much information, because several times during the presentation, he would emphasize the need to take action every day of some kind. Repeatedly he'd instruct his audience that ANY action that moved one forward in marketing is better than delaying while agonizing which actions should be first.
Likewise, with my ADD – ADHD coaching clients, when I hear them spinning their mental wheels over many possible directions they could take, I want to say:
- STOP THINKING
- Pick any one direction
- Take a small action
- Don't agonize over whether it's the absolute most perfect thing to do… JUST DO IT.
For many of us, we would do better to act as if we didn't have quite so many ideas, and just follow one of them.